The Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) has unveiled ‘Sustainable Waste Innovation for a Future in Transition (SWIFT)’, a waste management programme targeting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operating in the waste management sector in Kenya. This is a three years programme funded by the IKEA Foundation to the tune of USD 5.1 Million. The primary objective of the programme is transforming the waste management sector in Kenya through innovative business models that embrace the principles of circular economy.
In the first year of implementation, the SWIFT programme will support 55 enterprises in different areas, including business advisory support, compliance for market access, technical assistance, access to finance solutions, sustainability integration, policy support, and technology solutions. The programme will particularly champion youth and women-led enterprises.
Aligned with both KCIC’s mission and the IKEA Foundation’s commitment to climate action and improving everyday life, the SWIFT Programme is positioned to promote green entrepreneurship in the waste management sector and subsequently lead to job creation, improved living conditions for communities, while addressing environmental challenges.
Joseph Murabula, Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Climate Innovation Center, said “The SWIFT programme will build on the KCIC’s experience over the past eleven years of support to enterprises in the climate space. Like other programmes, it underscores the significance of technical assistance and funding in fostering the growth and sustainability of SMEs in the climate space.”
“One of the critical pathways to the success of this programme will be the building of alliances and partnerships within the waste sector, which is why we look forward to working together with all players in this space to collectively accelerate Kenya’s transition to a circular approach in waste management,” he added.
In total, the programme targets supporting 110 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya at the end of its implementation, creating over 2,000 direct jobs, 4,000 indirect jobs, improving the livelihoods of more than 5,000 households, and seeing supported enterprises generate up to USD 10 million in revenue.
According to a 2022 research conducted by ANDE, green entrepreneurship in Kenya offers a $123 billion market opportunity for small and growing businesses. The waste management and circular economy sector has the largest market opportunity, at a massive $54 billion. This is mainly attributable to the low level of adoption of circular economy principles in the country.
In its endeavor to further strengthen waste management policies and frameworks, KCIC will strategically collaborate with the national government and five counties namely Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, and Uasin Gishu. The collaborative effort will support the development of policies and regulations incentivizing private sector engagement in waste management and circular economy practices.
The call for applications is currently open to all enterprises meeting the eligibility criteria outlined by KCIC. Applications can be submitted online through the KCIC website, with the deadline set for February 2nd, 2024.
For detailed information on eligibility criteria and application forms, interested parties are encouraged to visit the KCIC website https://www.kenyacic.org/swift/ and apply.
About Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC):
Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) is a social impact organization operating in the climate space, with a strong focus on innovation. It offers incubation, acceleration, capacity-building, and innovative financing to entrepreneurs innovating solutions to climate change. Over the past decade, KCIC has supported more than 3,000 enterprises across its five thematic areas of focus: Agribusiness, Renewable Energy, Commercial Forestry, Waste Management, and Water Management. This support has resulted to a commercialization rate of 67%, with supported enterprises securing external financing exceeding $63 million and generating sales surpassing $83 million.
About IKEA Foundation:
The IKEA Foundation is a strategic philanthropy that focuses its grant making efforts on tackling poverty and climate change. They are driven by a vision to create a better everyday life for people around the world. Together with more than 140 partners, they work to improve family incomes and protect the planet. Recognizing the inequalities that underpin poverty on the one hand and climate change on the other hand, the IKEA Foundation aims to transform systems and build evidence of what works.
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